a content='IE=EmulateIE7' http-equiv='X-UA-Compatible'/> Kenna's Felt Forest: Our Calendar Time

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Calendar Time

 We have been doing daily calendar time every day for about five months now. I finally decided to share what we do, even though there are things I would still like to change. (I kept waiting and waiting, so that I could get our board and routine perfect, but there aren't enough hours in the day!)

All of our Calendar Time Materials  are contained on one cork board. All the pieces are stored with velcro or flip charts. Our printouts and the great organizational ideas came from several awesome mamas on the web.

Check them out!

 If you see something I haven't given credit for, let me know! The actual blue "bear" calendar and number pieces were all purchased when I was a third grade teacher. The cork board is covered in yellow fabric to brighten it up.  Everything is affixed to the cork board with staples or giant push pins (walmart).
I am going to give the simple rundown of our calendar time. It is fast and easy, and we do it the same every day, so that Kenna has actually started leading it!

1.What month is it? We sing the months of the year song, to the tune of Ten Little Indians.  I'll link to the youtube song if you want. Kenna has memorized it! She does call August, Dogust, though. adorable!

2. Counting-  Kenna grabs her giant Finger Pointer Stick (love this thing- got it at Hobby Lobby.)  and we count the days of the month- this month we count to 31, pointing at each number as we say it. That alone has increased Kenna's counting from 1-10 to 1-19!  The pointer allows Kenna to track the numbers better with her eye, so that she is "reading" them. It also helps her practice left to right tracking.

2. Today is the 26th. Find the 26. (point to it on the calendar.) Then flip to the 26th on the flip chart.

3. Make the Date
 Use our coins (backed with velcro) to add up 26 cents. All of the coins are stored on a velcro strip, hanging on a push pin. We pick the ones we need each morning. We are working hard to identify different coins, and I am modeling how to count on from five. It will be a long time before Kenna can do this part independently, and I'm fine with that. I'll be happy if she learns coin names and values this year. (Right now she automatically calls everything a quarter.) If you have older kids, you can ask them to make the date without using nickels, or two ways, etc.

4.  Today is the 26th.

Today is Monday. Yesterday was Sunday.
Tomorrow is Tuesday, Tomorrow is Tuesday.
Yesterday was Sunday, Tomorrow will be Tuesday,
Today is Monday. Today is Monday.
 I sing a little jingle I made up when I say this (sing it to "Where is Thumbkin)".

I want Kenna to grasp those three points in time, and to hopefully start recognizing days of the week by name. (Right now she refers to everything in the past as "last morning" and everything in the future as "Monday." cuuuute.)This printable was great, but I added a Saturday and Sunday to it, so that we always have a place to put our little cards. I found it weird that on Monday, we couldn't talk about "yesterday" because there was no Sunday.  And occasionally Kenna will ask to do calendar time on the weekend, so I just measured the squares and whipped up two boxes in microsoft pub. (i heart publisher...)

5. Then we sing the days of the week song. Our tune is really simple and pretty. Again, I can link to it on youtube if you would like.  I don't know what tune it is, offhand. Kenna has this song memorized, too. 

 6. Next, we run through color of the day and shape of the day.  These are more for Little Man's benefit than Kenna's. She already knows all of these without blinking. I would like to add a Letter of the Week flashcard that can help them (and me) remember what letter sound we are focusing on all week. I just want to find a cheap stack of ABC flashcards to put on a ring, but I always forget when I'm out. The shape cards are flip-book style, but the color of the day is set-up differently. (I'm going to go back and change these to flip cards, to make it easier.) Right now, the color words are laminated and have a velcro circle. They are stored in an envelope behind the "color of the day" sign. One side of the envelope is pinned down, and the other swings free to allow access to the pocket. It's fine, but my biggest complaint is that we always seem to pick brown and yellow.  :) A flip chart would at least guarantee we'd rotate through all of the colors!

7. Season, weather, temperature.  It's Winter!
 We run onto the porch and check the weather and the temperature. I had to make the thermometer myself, because we were just doing weather and Kenna was getting confused. She was seeing the sun, and it was cold at the same time, and she was saying "It's hot. The sun is out." I think she grasps that they are two different things now.

This is winter, so the sun can be out, but the temperature is cold!
We sing an adorable weather song to B.I.N.G.O,  from 1+1+1=1.  (You'll notice our Snowman Measuring Stick is on the board- he's expectantly waiting for some SNOW!!!)  Also, I made my thermometer very simplistic- it only reads HOT WARM COOL and COLD. She's only 2, so we aren't going to worry about guessing actual degrees just yet. At least she'll get the concept that as the temperature rises, so does the thermometer.  In a couple years we'll change to a more scientific thermometer. I think the next addition might be to choose the appropriately dressed stick figure for the day. (Oh, wouldn't it be cute to take pics of Kenna dressed for hot, warm, cool and cold? Yes. Yes it would.)

8. We read the entire day, month date a couple times. Kenna can read the whole "sentence" by herself. Awesome. Each of these pieces are flippable with binder rings hanging on giant thumb tacks. This system appealed to me beacause I didn't want to keep up with three hundred velcro bits. It's working great, and Kenna loves to do the flipping. ( I think MamaJenn did this when she revamped her calendar board- genius)

9.We wrap up with the pledge of allegiance. She likes to put both hands on her "hearts". I think she looks doubly patriotic. We also say the pledge to the NC flag, but I still need to print off a little flag. ( I was holding out in hopes of finding a nice fabric one to purchase inexpensively.)

And that's it. Honestly, it took forever to type this out, but our calendar time takes 10 minutes or less.  The songs are cute and quick, the chart is so organzied that changing the data is fast and simple, and although it is a lot of material to cover, Kenna really grasps it and stays engaged the whole time. 

 We can drag it out by Some extensions include:
-Singing the "rainbow song" from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That when we do the color of the day.

-Name something you wear when it is ________ (Cold, hot, warm, rainy)

-Ask how many days in the month? How many months in the year? How many days in a year? What year is it?  What will tomorrow's date be?

-Singing National Anthem, or talking about our state, country and continent.

Things to Add:
-Moon Phases(oh how I want to add these! I will wait til she's four, though.) Space is my FAV.

-Foreign language cards (I haven't fully developed this idea, so not sure what I will do with it.)
-Counting the 365 days of the year, one stick at a time.  You bundle them by tens, and then by hundreds. It's kinda an awesome visual, but Kenna is too young to understand it. We'll start it next January 1st when she's almost four.

-letter of the week

-dress for the weather (It's summer. Choose the pic that has a bathing suit and flip flops, so your kid doesn't try and step out in a winter coat and scarf!)

-many moms do bible verse of the day, or poem of the week, but we include these elsewhere in our day. 
ones, tens, and hundreds place- lots of great ideas about how to incorporate place value with the date, but we aren't quite old enough for that yet.

****I am still looking for the perfect "ending" song, something that will send us to our work in a good mood. Actually, I'm looking for a "good morning song", too. I know a couple, but they kind of grate on my nerves. Especially at 8 in the morning. Ideas?


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